# Our Week – May 31

The count down is certainly on!  Ten days to go until the end of 3rdgrade.  It has been a wonderful and fast year.  It is such a bittersweet feeling, but your children are certainly deserving of a break.  We have several continuing writing projects.

We’re creating our persuasive piece about our states, and we’re completing our learning reflections. We’ll share those with you at our student-led conferences during the last week of school.   This week we’ve also spent time working on our last social emotional learning unit in Open Circle and morning meeting.

S.E.L – How Can You Deal with a Problem?

One of the first thing s we have learned is to figure out if it is a big problem or a small problem. Next, we’ve been trying to decide if our reaction matches the size of the problem.  A small problem should have a small reaction.  A big problem should have a thoughtful reaction, and we’re learning that is a skill that develops with practice.

We began the week by answering three questions:  What makes recess fun?, What makes recess disappointing? and, How do you describe sportsmanship or fair play?  The answers that we collected for the first two questions were all pretty similar. Playing and including everyone who wants to play, following the rules and being outside were common answers. There were many different answers about sportsmanship.  That is something we need to continue to explore, along with the concept of fairness.

We spent some time talking about perspective.  We read They All Saw A Cat and The Seven Blind Mice to guide our conversation. It isn’t always easy to see that there are different ways of understanding an event or situation.  We tried some perspective taking scenarios so we might learn how to react with understanding rather than anger. Everyone participated in our conversations and seemed to really make an effort to consider how they could each contribute to positive changes.

Fractions

It seems as though many of the children are feeling more comfortable with fractions and the illogical notion that larger numbers in the denominator means a smaller part.  The children’s understanding of how to label fractions on a number line is growing, as is their ability to label parts of partitioned shapes.  Several weeks ago, children understood what half and a fourth was, that understand has grown.  Our next task will be to learn how to add and subtract fractions with like denominators. We’ll do that with recipes featuring something special from each state.

State Wonder Writing

The children have all completed paragraphs for at least three of their state’s Wonders.  Many have completed five and a few have completed writing about all of them.  Most of the children have moved beyond the copying phase, they are reading and taking notes to then create their own original sentences and ideas.  This has been a fun process to see as they’ve participated in four major research projects this year: weather, national holiday, global geography and national geography.  They have grown quite a bit as readers, researchers, and writers this year.

Bits and Pieces –

• Everyone completed each section of the State Testing!  Woo-hoo!!!!
• We’ve continued learning how to form our cursive letters.  Most of the class thinks it’s fun.  We’ve completed the “kite string” letters and are now beginning the “loop group.”
• We held our belated April writing contest.  There were ten submissions.  It was exciting to not that all of the stories were complete with an obvious, beginning, middle and end.  Each of the stories showed that the author had intentionally used elaboration strategies and given some attention to using correct conventions.  The class voted for a single gold, and a single silver medal winner in the contest.  There was a four-way tie for the bronze medal.  We have creative storywriters in our class.
• We’re close to finishing our eleventh chapter read-aloud as a class.  It’s an exciting fantasy, adventure.  The Green Ember is the first in a series of five books – the fifth is still being written.  If you’re looking for an exciting family read-aloud over the summer, I highly recommend this series by S.D. Smith.